Ditto

There is but one Pokemon that can thrive in all the tiers (Also Volbeat). Ranging from the depths of Never Used (In PU) to the legends of Ubers, no challenge is unworthy of a Ditto. Now, the reader of this article might be thinking, “What could possibly be said about Ditto?” Well, the answer to that question is simple. A lot.

To use Ditto competitively, the trainer must first understand how the transformation mechanics work. When Ditto transforms, all stats and stat boosts except for Hit Points are copied. This includes modifies the Ditto’s stats to exactly match the opponent, but doesn’t change IVs for the purpose of Hidden Power. Left with a miniscule base 48 HP, the trainer is left to think, “What is to gain from using a Pokemon inherently weaker than the opponent?” Well, this all depends on the held item, and while I normally like to promote diversity in item usage, there is a clear frontrunner to be held by every Ditto. Choice Scarf is the preferred in most scenarios for several reasons.

  1. Revenge killing is made incredibly easy with a Choice Scarf since it negates the possibility of Speed ties.
  2. Since stat boosts are kept, Ditto can sweep incredibly easy when holding a Choice Scarf.
  3. Since Ditto only copies 5 Power Points for each move, it becomes difficult to use a Ditto for anything other than a revenge killer / sweeper.

As with most things in Pokemon, there are exceptions, and the choice of Ditto’s held item has a few.

  1. Copying a Shuckle. If by some miracle a Ditto manages to copy a Shuckle when not holding a Choice Scarf, rejoice. The normal HP stat of Shuckle (20) will not remain and the transformed Ditto will be 145% bulkier than a normal Shuckle. Stall can be hard to pull off due to the 5 PP per move limitation, but it’s still very cool.
  2. Intending to defeat other sweepers holding Choice Scarves. For example, a Flygon holding a Choice Scarf copied by a Ditto also holding a Choice Scarf would have an equal chance to go first when compared to Ditto. Therefore, Focus Sash is not an awful decision when expecting to face such threats.

Ditto can copy the opponent’s Pokemon in two ways. The first is to use the move Transform, but there is no reason to do that since it simply wastes a move slot. The other is to switch into the opponent while Ditto has the hidden ability Imposter. Imposter allows immediate transformation of Ditto into the opposing Pokemon, making it viable. Imposter cannot copy the opposing Pokemon if they are also transformed, under the effects of an illusion (Zoroark), or behind a substitute. Worth pointing out is the fact that Transform will fail if the opponent uses Crafty Shield. Therefore, notable Ditto counters are Zoroark and, of course, Ditto.

As for Ditto’s stats, their assignment can get surprisingly tricky for optimization. The only really important one is HP, which will like a nice 248 EVs assigned to it. Why 248? This is because of entry hazard damage, which rounds up with 248 HP EVs and down with 252 HP EVs. While the Ditto would have more health with the latter, residual damage proves to be important in instances such as being poisoned and taking recoil. Ultimately, taking 248 proves more useful. For the other stats, place 252 in Defense and 8 in Special Defense. Ensuring that you do this maximizes the possibility that an untransformed Ditto would be able to win a Struggle war. For the same purpose, take a Relaxed nature to further boost Defense while taking a drop in Speed to try and faint last.

Some other fun tips.

  1. The mere presence of a Ditto on a team can cause the opponent to not try and set up on you, which proves immensely useful.
  2. Dittos IVs (Except HP) don’t impact its transformed stats, so tweaking them to get a specific Hidden Power is completely fine. Frontrunners are Grass (30 Defense IVs, 30 Special Attack IVs, and 1 Speed IV), Rock (30 Defense IVs, 30 Special Defense IVs, and 1 Speed IV), Fire (30 Attack IVs, 30 Special Attack IVs, 1 Speed IV), and Ice (0 Speed IVS). All of the unmentioned IV stats are 31.
  3. Slow Volt Switch and U-turn users such as Magnezone, Eelektross, and Scizor are incredible teammates for Ditto since you can get damage onto the opponent, and usually switch without any sort of damage onto Ditto.
  4. Ditto’s fatal flaw is being unable to effectively deal with stall teams, so be sure to include some potent wall breakers relative to whatever tier you’re playing in.
  5. Ditto copies a Pokemon’s Mega form if it has already mega-evolved and doesn’t require the item for it. This is the one exception to the restriction allowing only one mega-evolution per game.

Often relegated to the role of serving as progenitor to the rest of your Pokemon, Ditto is literally the most versatile battling Pokemon since it literally is EVERY Pokemon. A team slot is not wasted with a Ditto, as long as one understands the power and responsibility in battling with a Ditto. Remember this Puclonians, and the Pokemon that your Ditto transforms into will be utterly demolished by your Ditto.